724.3415/1882: Telegram

The Bolivian Minister for Foreign Affairs (Gutiérrez) to the Secretary of State


My Government has received the new cablegram from the representatives of the neutral countries, dated the 25th instant, in which they repeat their request that we return to Washington and submit the Chaco incidents to the cognizance of the neutrals. They remind us of the communication of July 9 from our delegates,41 in which they stated that the occupation of the Chuquisaca Lagoon by Major Moscoso on June 15 and the first Paraguayan attack of June 29, might be a subject for the cognizance of the neutrals, as it was the opinion of Bolivia that, notwithstanding the unwarranted aggression of June 29, negotiations as to the pact of non-aggression should not be suspended. They also remind us of the statement of our delegates on July 18, offering to place in their hands the matter of conciliation in connection with the incidents of July 15 and thereafter. They add that Paraguay consented on July 23 to the return of her delegates to Washington. We reply in the following terms:

  • “First, it is necessary to clear up a few facts mentioned in the cable referred to. It is true that our delegates, in a memorandum of July 9, [Page 47] stated that with regard to the occupation of the west shore of the Chuquisaca Lagoon on June 15 and the attack of the 29th of that month, the former might be made the subject of a Paraguayan claim and the second a subject of cognizance by the neutrals, thus giving on our part the best proof of pacific intentions in offering to continue the conferences, notwithstanding the Paraguayan aggression which took place on June 29.
  • Second, the verbal statement of our delegates to Mr. White on July 18 offering to place in the hands of the neutrals the settlement of the incident of July 15 is not in conformity with the facts and the dates. That statement of the 18th still referred to the attack of June 29 and not to that of July 15. Our delegates could hardly on July 18 submit for conciliation, the armed attack of the 15 of this month, as it was only on the 19 that the news of this second Paraguayan attack was received. According to communications from our delegates on the 20 and 21 of July, in that conversation with Mr. White, reference was made to the incidents of June 15 and 29 and not to the powerful aggression of July 15. We desire to have this explanation perfectly clear.
  • Third. If our proved pacific intentions led us to continue in the conferences notwithstanding the first attack of June 29, the most elementary (considerations of) dignity demanded that we declare the conversations at Washington at an end upon the repetition of Paraguayan aggression on a large scale.
  • Fourth, Paraguay opposed continuing the conferences after attacking us on June 29. She broke them off in order to carry out with premeditation the aggression of July 15. After it on July 23 she showed herself very determined to continue them, declaring that she would not commit any act of armed hostility against Bolivia. This declaration would have been timely and significant before committing the two acts of aggression (but when) made subsequently it amounts to adding insult to injury. However great may be the sentiments of gratitude we owe to the neutral Governments which so generously intervene in this dispute Bolivia can do no less than to reaffirm the ideas expressed in our cablegram of the 24th instant.”

I greet Your Excellency [etc.]

Julio A. Gutiérrez
  1. Not printed.